Monthly Archives: June 2009


The design automation conference (DAC) is later this month in San Francisco. Trade shows in general are probably gradually dying. I doubt we’ll be going to them in ten years time. But rumors of their death are somewhat exaggerated. DAC … Continue reading

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Licensed to bill

As I’ve said before, in every sizeable EDA company that I’ve worked, a huge percentage, 30-50%, of all calls to the support hotline are to do with license keys. Why is this so complicated? Are EDA software engineers incompetent? Most … Continue reading

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Friday puzzle: McNuggets

Last week’s puzzle was to calculate the resistance between opposite corners of a cube of identical resistors. Let’s assume they are all 1Ω since it doesn’t really matter. The key insight with this and many such problems is to find … Continue reading

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Cadence, Avant!, SPC and Mitch

The big picture story of Cadence and Avant! is well known. Some Cadence employees left to create Avant! (initially called Arcsys) and stole Cadence source code. Cadence told the district attorney, Avant! was raided, and after several years delay, everyone … Continue reading

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Guest blog: Soha Hassoun

DAC is coming up late July, as I’m sure you know. For the first time this year there is a real user track in which users, unmoderated by EDA marketing droids, can talk about their experiences. Soha Hassoun of Tufts … Continue reading

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Patent law is a controversial subject and keeps popping up unexpectedly (for instance Ron Wilson writes about a case at Applied Materials here). I talked about it here in the context of CDMA and Qualcomm. The basic “tradeoff” in having … Continue reading

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Hiring and firing in startups

Startups have unique problems in human resources. For a start, they don’t have human resource departments or even, in the earliest days, anyone to even do the mechanical stuff of making sure the right forms are filled out. You have … Continue reading

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More Moore: that iSuppli report

The recent iSuppli report has been getting a lot of coverage (EDN, Wall Street Journal if you have a subscription). It somewhat predicts the end of Moore’s law. If you look at the graph you can see that no process … Continue reading

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Friday puzzle: cube

Last week’s puzzle was the “two switch” puzzle. To solve it, the group of prisoners must identify one person, the counter. Ignore switch B, it is there just to give people something to toggle if they don’t want to toggle … Continue reading

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Chicken and the egg

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? This question often gets posed as an example of a question that is impossible to answer, since plainly chickens come from eggs and eggs come from chickens. In EDA, there are chicken … Continue reading

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